A 51 year old woman woke up with neck pain one morning. She experienced constant pain and stiffness around the left upper neck. The pain was interfering with her sleep, she also found it difficult and painful to extend her neck ie look upwards..
Prior coming to see us she had been to an osteopath 3 times, and a myotherapist twice. However there was no change in the symptoms. She also had an x-ray, which did not demonstrate any significant findings.
On examination she was very stiff when mobilising the left C1/2 articular pillar, and C2 transverse process. However when mobilising the stiff cervical segments, they did not free up or improve her neck pain or movement, therefore we went on checking other areas. We found muscles around the neck and shoulders to be very tight and releasing those muscles only resulted in minimal change. We found several segments in the thoracic area to be stiff, however mobilising the thoracic spine still only made minimal change to the neck pain and movement.
Using the Ridgway full body assessment and problem solving approach, we found her right groin and the psoas muscle to be very tight, and after releasing the psoas muscle she gained full pain-free neck movement!
This again demonstrates that we need to assess beyond the area of pain and and use objective signs to guide treatment and get the best outcomes for the people we treat.